Samsung is still the top smartphone manufacturer in the world after the third quarter, according to a recent report released by Gartner. In addition, Samsungs lead over Apple was extended.

According to statistics, Samsung now accounts for 32.5% of the entire worldwide market share.

During the 3rd quarter, 55 million Samsung smartphones were sold, while Apple only managed to sell 23.6 million iPhones. In the second quarter of 2012 Samsung managed to sell 45.6 million units. The fourth quarter is expected to see Apple mounting a comeback thanks to the launch of iPhone 5.

According to Gartner principal research analyst, Anshul Gupta:

“We saw inventory built up into the channel as Apple prepared for the coming holiday season, global expansions and the launch into China in the fourth quarter of 2012. With iPhone 5 launching in more territories in the fourth quarter of 2012, including China, and the upcoming holiday season, Gartner analysts expect Apple will have its traditionally strongest quarter.”

The third quarter saw Samsung and Apple holding 46.5% of the entire smartphone market.

The Gartner report highlights the fact that Nokia drastically fell from position 3 to 7. Only 7.2 million units were shipped in quarter 3 for the Finnish company, but thanks to the recent release of Lumia 920, the figures are expected to rise. Number 3 in the sales chart was obtained by Research In Motion (responsible for the BlackBerry). The number 4 is held by HTC.

The smartphone sales grew 46.9%, which is a lot more than the third quarter of 2011. Android OS covered 72.4% of the smartphone market, Apple iOS covered 13.9%.